3/14+ Patient Safety Week

National Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW) is March 14-20, 2021. Some useful resource collections:

  • The ESRD 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program, assisting dialysis facilities to improve both staff and patient awareness of specific patient safety areas, promoting patient safety values, and building a culture of patient safety in every dialysis facility, https://5diamondpatientsafety.org/Home.aspx. The Program includes a COVID-19 Module.

1/22 NKF/ASN on eGFR and Race

The NKF/ASN Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases has been collecting information and testimony about health care disparities for Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/ Alaska Native, Asian American, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander people, and about kidney function measurement, patient safety/standardization, new or innovative approaches to kidney function measurement, and measurement or reporting that does not include race. They will hold a January 22, 2021 public forum for patients, family members, and other public stakeholders. Register at https://kidney.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vVdJli2uRJKIgi4zlc8hfw. Find more information at https://www.kidney.org/content/nkf-asn-task-force-reassessing-inclusion-race-diagnosing-kidney-diseases.

7/1 CMS: COVID-19 QIP Exceptions Expire

In a July 16, 2020 email, CMS  “would like to inform the ESRD QIP community that the COVID-19 exceptions granted under the March 27, 2020 CMS Memo have ended.  Therefore, Quality Reporting Requirements for Renal Dialysis Facilities should resume effective July 1, 2020.”  They’ve updated the Exceptions Fact Sheet accordingly, and answered new questions addressing the Composite Kt/V measure, hypercalcemia, and isolation facilities.  Find it at https://qualitynet.org/files/5f0da6ccb8112700239dca2c?filename=ESRD_QIP_COVID19_FAQs_071420.pdf.  Direct questions to the QualityNet Q&A form at https://cmsqualitysupport.servicenowservices.com/qnet_qa?id=ask_a_question.  The original March 27 Memo can be found at https://www.cms.gov/files/document/guidance-memo-exceptions-and-extensions-quality-reporting-and-value-based-purchasing-programs.pdf.

7/16 KCER After-Action Report Webinar

KCER will present a July 16, 2020 webinar for dialysis facilities on The Basics of Preparing an After-Action Report for an Incident or Disaster.  The webinar presents KCER’s template for After-Action Reports (“AAR”) and includes instructions for meeting the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule for dialysis facilities, and specific guidance for AARs on your response to COVID-19.  Find more information in the flyer below.  Click HERE to register.  Contact KCER at kcerinfo@hsag.com for questions or assistance.

An AAR describes an event or process that for any reason you needed or wanted to respond to or improve, how you responded, your evaluation of the effectiveness of your response, and any improvements you recommend for “next time,” or to complete or enhance your response to the current issue.

Summer Provider Newsletters

Network Provider Newsletters for Summer 2020 have been published.  They include articles on:

  • Network Support for COVID-19.
  • The ESRD QIP.
  • New QIP website interface.
  • Staff Burnout.
  • Patient Psychosocial Needs.
  • NCC “Web Hub” for Patients (Network 16 only).
  • Seeking Volunteers for Spanish-Speaking PAC (Network 18 only).
  • Data Currency in CROWNWeb.
  • Links to Network Patient Newsletters.
  • Patient Emergency Preparedness.
  • Interruptions in Service.
  • KCER Newsletter.
  • Staff Changes.
  • Link to Events Calendar (Network 18 only).
  • Network email Updates.

Find them at:

6/26 PFCCpartners Webinar on Patient Engagement

Patient and Family Centered Care Partners will present a June 26, 2020 webinar on Co-Designing Through The Crisis At The Sharp End.  It will feature description of a state-wide patient engagement process set up by the Connecticut Hospital Association that involved patient and family representatives in the design of healthcare down to the bedside level, using QI processes we know well, such as rapid-cycle trials of potential improvements and state-wide spread of successes.  Find more details and register at https://pfccpartners.com/workshops/.  You’ll also find a link to archived PFCCpartners webinars there.

CMS: Relief from QIP Reporting

On March 22, 2020 CMS announced relief from QIP-related reporting requirements for CROWNWeb and the ESRD QIP.   Find the full CMS press release at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-relief-clinicians-providers-hospitals-and-facilities-participating-quality-reporting.  An excerpt follows:

“CMS will not count data from January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 (Q1-Q2) for performance or payment programs.  Data does not need to be submitted to CMS for this time period…  No data reflecting services provided January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will be used in CMS’s calculations for the Medicare quality reporting… programs.  This is being done to reduce the data collection and reporting burden on providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

CMS published an additional bulletin on March 27, https://www.cms.gov/files/document/guidance-memo-exceptions-and-extensions-quality-reporting-and-value-based-purchasing-programs.pdf, with ESRD information on pp.9-10.  This bulletin clarifies the original and includes new information on NHSN QIP relief, and information on opting out of the relief:

“Dialysis facilities should be aware of the potential subsequent impact to a facility’s total performance score (TPS) when data are excluded from score calculations.  Facilities impacted by COVID-19 may elect to opt out of the CMS granted exception by emailing the request to the ESRD QIP at esrdqip@cms.hhs.gov.  The email must be sent by the dialysis facility’s chief executive officer (CEO) or designee.  We are requesting that a dialysis facility make this request within 90 days of March 22, 2020.  For further assistance regarding the ESRD QIP information contained in this message, please contact the ESRD QIP at esrdqip@cms.hhs.gov.”

Winter 2020 Patient Newsletters

We’ve published our Patient Newsletters for Winter 2020.  They feature articles on treatment options, flu shots, grievances, access to care, how to stay informed by the Network, and how to help the Network improve patient care.  Find them at:

AAKP/FDA Medical Device Survey

AAKP’s Center for Patient Research & Education (https://aakp.org/center-for-patient-research-and-education/research/) is collaborating with the FDA to foster engagement with patients, caregivers, and patient advocates throughout the development, evaluation and surveillance of medical devices in order to gain insight from patients and caregivers about their experiences living with their diseases as well as experiences with medical devices intended to diagnose and treat their medical conditions.  To further this effort, AAKP asks members to take a brief anonymous survey about the devices you have used.  Find the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GGTZNKX.

7/15 NW18 Quality Conference 2019

Comagine Health ESRD Network 18 will hold its Annual Quality Conference 2019 in Los Angeles on July 15, 2019.  Topics include:

  • A Patient Panel Discussion on Patient Perspectives on Adherence to Treatment
  • New Changes to the ESRD QIP and How it Impacts Facilities
  • De-escalation of Disruptive Behaviors and the Social Work Role in Patient Advocacy
  • CROWNWeb Question and Answer
  • And More!

The program is designed for Facility Managers/Administrators, Nurses, Social Workers, Dietitians, Technicians, Medical Directors, and any other staff that would benefit from a great learning opportunity.  4.5 Nursing or Social Work CE credits are available.  For details and registration see http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07egas42064eea495b&llr=gfuz7mxab&showPage=true.